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Fabian Chew, Technical Manager, Flame Marine Limited,

No.2, Chempang Kuning Link, Singapore 486237
Tel: +65 9677 4315 Fax: +65 234 2754

Terence MCGeary, Managing Director, Flame Marine Limited

29, The Gill, Ulverston LA12 7BP, UK
Tel: +44 1229 588601 Fax: +44 1229 587959

ABSTRACT authors are now sampling and analyzing Cylinder

Lubricant drain oil routinely on all cylinder units of
A study of the condition of diesel engine cylinder many ships, between 6 and 8 times per year, the
lubricant drains from modern long stroke large bore frequency being dependent on the voyage
cross-head diesel engines over the past 5 years schedule.
has indicated a relationship between drain oil
condition and the maintenance and performance As sampling has been extended to different
conditions of 2-stroke cross-head diesel engines. engines with different operating conditions,
By regularly sampling cylinder lubricant drain oil including new-buildings, more knowledge is being
from each cylinder unit it has been possible to accrued about the conditions of combustion and
determine the optimum lubricant feed rate, monitor lubrication in the diesel engine, and the relationship
the wear rates of each cylinder unit, plan the life between the drain oil condition and engine
span of the liner, check for water contamination, performance parameters. The studies to date are to
verify the effectiveness of sealing of each piston rod be regarded as a step towards understanding more
gland, and evaluate combustion conditions. about the combustion and lubrication processes in
the cross-head diesel engine.
In 1994 the drain oil condition of two cylinder units Cylinder lubricant drain sampling
of one MAN.B&W 6S80MC engine was monitored
by the authors’ company over a period of 10,000 Analysis of the waste oil, and comparison of the
hours, and then, in the period from 1995 until 1998, waste oil analyses with new oil analysis, enables
several other large bore MAN.B&W and Sulzer conclusions to be drawn about the combustion and
engines were monitored in the same way. As it lubrication conditions of each cylinder unit. A further
became clear that monitoring of cylinder lubricant comparison, of the waste oil from one cylinder unit
drain oil was yielding very useful information about with the waste oil from other cylinder units of the
the performance of the engine, and about the same engine, enables comparison of the
comparative performance of individual cylinder performance and maintenance condition of each
units, the monitoring was extended to all cylinder unit against the other units.
units of one engine and then to other engines. The

© CIMAC — 1036 — Congress 2001, Hamburg

By regular sampling from each cylinder unit Factors Influencing Cylinder Lubricant
comparisons can be made with previous sample Condition
analyses. The trends demonstrated by regular
sampling have been seen to reflect the changing 1. Engine Development
maintenance condition of each unit and the The increase in power output of modern diesel
changing combustion conditions as different fuels engines has had the consequence of increasing the
are lifted with each bunkering, and also the amount of cylinder lubricant consumption.
changing lubrication conditions between different
brands of lubricant and different methods of Schenk, Hengeveld and Aabo refer to an increase
cylinder lubrication. in power per cylinder from a 900mm bore engine,
when first introduced in 1982, as developing 4680
Most engine designs provide for the waste cylinder BHP, whereas the current model produces 6650
lubricating oil to be drained from the piston rod BHP, a 42% increase in power output.
diaphragm by a separate pipe from each cylinder
unit into a manifold, which carries the waste In 1982 the typical cylinder lubricant feed rate for a
lubricant into a drain tank for subsequent uni-flow scavenge engine was 0.67g/kWh (0.5g/
incineration or landing ashore. bhp.hour), which indicates that the lubricant
consumption of such a 10 cylinder 900mm bore
By providing a shut-off cock and sampling cock engine would be 562kg per day. With a 42%
onto each cylinder unit drain pipe it is possible to increase in power, and typical lubricant feed rates
take samples of the waste oil. This arrangement is having increased from 0.67g/kWh to 1.34g/kWh
a standard feature of MAN.B&W engines and many (0.5g to 1.0g/bhp.hour) and more, the lubricant
Sulzer engines. Some engines require the fitting of consumption for the current model will be about
the cocks on each drain pipe, or other minor 1,600kg of cylinder lubricant per day.
modifications, to be able to take drain samples.
The increase in power has also led to an increase
It has been reported that, since 1998, two-stroke in the acid condensation on the liner wall.
diesel engines are powering 80% of new buildings. In addressing the subject of corrosive wear in the
Each of these engines is consuming cylinder same paper it is stated that previous opinion was
lubricant at a feed rate typically between 0.7g and that there would be no acid condensation if liner
1.2g per bhp.hour. For a modern large container wall temperature is maintained above 190 C, even
ship the daily expenditure on cylinder lubrication when operating on a 5% sulphur fuel and Pmax of
can be as high as US$2,000 per day, or over 200bar. The paper goes on to state that recent
US$500,000 per year. investigations have confirmed acid condensation,
and hence corrosive wear, is still a significant factor
at temperatures above 190 C, and is occurring with
Changing Conditions of Lubrication liner wall temperatures up to, and above, 270 C for
an engine operating on 3.5% sulphur fuel and firing
Cylinder lubrication conditions have changed pressure of 150 bar.
considerably over the past 20 years.
There has been continuous development of the The increase in acid condensation due to the
diesel engine since its inception, particularly in increased power has come as a surprise to
respect of the power output from each cylinder unit. engine manufacturers and the increased acid
The increase in power output has an effect on condensation has had a marked effect on the diesel
engine lubrication conditions. cylinder lubrication conditions.

In recent years the increase in power output has 2. Changes in the quality of residual marine
coincided with a creeping deterioration in the quality fuel
of fuel being burned. The test methods used for Aabo in his paper “Fuels for Diesels” described
marine fuels, however, have not changed to match the modern fuel problem, which the authors see as
the changes in fuel quality and, as a result, the two a matter for particular concern, as “The ignition
characteristics, ignition quality and combustibility, delay is not the only parameter of importance for
which have deteriorated considerably, are not yet the combustion process. The combustion duration
tested. may be even more important in terms of piston ring
versus liner operation.”
The combination of increasing power output and
deteriorating fuel quality has had a major influence The authors have observed that extended duration
on cylinder lubrication conditions in modern 2- of combustion can be the cause of severe cylinder
stroke diesel engines. wear, a phenomenon which has been graphically

© CIMAC — 1037 — Congress 2001, Hamburg

documented by one engine builder in a confidential combustibility so there has been no apparent
report for an operator of Sulzer 12RTA84 engines. deterioration in fuel quality over the past 10 years,
as stated at the CIMAC Day Fuel Meeting on 30
To understand the reason for late combustion and September 1998
the consequent severe liner wear it is useful to
consider how marine fuels have been, and still are, The effect of utilising such fuels in the marine diesel
changing. engine has a marked effect on cylinder lubrication
conditions, not least due to late completion of
As the demand for automotive and aviation fuels combustion, which can burn the cylinder lubricant
escalated the refineries introduced secondary on the liner wall and lead to dry liner conditions and
methods of refining, whereby the residue from abrasive wear of the liner wall.
atmospheric distillation is subjected to catalytic and
thermal cracking to extract a greater quantity of
light products. In recent years this has resulted in Diesel Cylinder Lubrication
the viscosity breaking process, the Vis-Breaker,
being operated with greater “severity” and the The cross-head diesel engine relies on the injection
residue of this process becoming more viscous. of cylinder lubricant through the liner wall to
The high viscosity ‘’vis-broken’’ residue needs to be lubricate the piston/ liner and, after performing its
blended with a low viscosity product, a cutter stock, duties, drains away to waste.
which will at one time reduce its viscosity, improve
its handling and maintain its stability. The most In practice, a large part of the lubricant injected is
appropriate cutter stock candidates appear to be wholly, or partly, burned. The greater the excess of
the distillates from the catalytic cracker. These Low lubricant over that required for optimum lubrication
Viscosity and High Viscosity Cycle Oils are notable conditions, and the longer the duration of
for having low cetane index and poor combustion combustion, the greater the amount of lubricant is
characteristics. burned. Some of the excess lubricant remains as
deposits on the piston, and some forms deposits in
Hence as the severity of operation of Vis-Breakers turbo-chargers and economisers. The residue of
is being gradually increased in refineries around the the lubricant which finally finds its way to the under-
world, there is a concurrent increase in the amount piston scavenge space is laden with acid sludge,
of Cycle Oil which is blended into the Vis-Broken lubricant ash, partly burned heavy ends of fuel, fuel
residue to produce marine fuels to meet the ash, wear particles and water.
viscosity requirements of ships’ engines.
The condition of the lubricant as it drains off the
The effect on marine fuels is that ignition, and, diaphragm carries with it information about the
more important, combustibility have both been, and combustion and lubrication conditions in each
still are, deteriorating. The ISO fuel test procedures cylinder unit.
do not yet provide for measurement of ignition or

© CIMAC — 1038 — Congress 2001, Hamburg

CYLINDER LUBRICANT DRAIN cylinder unit diesel engine is sufficient to provide
ANALYSIS AND ENGINE adequate lubricant to overcome friction between the
piston rings and liner wall, and to neutralise acid
PERFORMANCE condensation on the liner wall in order to minimise
corrosive wear. In several studies it has been noted
that the cylinder lubricant feed rate is excessive and
1. Analytical tests the authors have been able to recommend a
The test procedure used by the authors for Cylinder
Lubricant drain analysis is to perform 5 physical The accepted method for the calculation of
and 19 spectrographic analyses of each oil sample. lubrication feed rate is as a multiple of the power of
Table I compares the analysis of a new cylinder the engine expressed in grammes per kilowatt hour,
lubricant with the condition of the same oil after or grammes per brake horsepower hour. As Engine
performing its function in a MAN.B&W S80MC Manufacturers recommend lubricant feed rates
engine: expressed in this way, then, as the power per
cylinder unit has developed over the years, so has
Table I – Comparison of New and Used Oil the amount of lubricant injected. The reasoning
Physical Properties New Oil Used Oil behind this method of calculation is open to
Viscosity @ 100C cst 19.75 23.9 question, but not within the scope of this paper.
Water %wt 0.05 0.95 Engine Manufacturers and the Cylinder Lubricant
TBN mg KOH/g 71.1 25 Suppliers have, until recently, stated that “the
Sooty Insolubles %wt 0.1 0.8 greater the amount of lubricant, the better the
Dispersancy % 85 63 operating conditions”.
Spectrographic Analysis ppm
6 378
In 1995 the authors’ company had collected
Iron (5)
evidence of over-lubrication causing piston
Lead (ppm) 0 0
deposit problems in an 800mm bore engine
Copper (ppm) 0 2
lubricated at 1.6g/kWh (1.2g/bhp.hour). Subsequent
Chromium 0 1
reduction of the cylinder lubricant feed rate down to
Aluminium 0 16 1.2g/kWh (0.9g/bhp.hour) resulted in cleaner piston
Nickel 0 32 conditions and reduced liner wear.
Silver 0 0
(3) (4)
Tin 0 61 It is now accepted that excessive lubrication
Silicon 19 28 can lead to heavy deposit formation on the top land
Boron 17 0 and piston crown, cause ring groove deposits and
Sodium 20 29 ring seizure, and lead to liner wear and scuffing.
Phosphorous 12 13 One Engine Manufacturer recently stated that
Zinc 13 12
lubricating oil feed rate should not exceed 1.6g/kWh
(1.2g/bhp.hour), and recommends a rate of 1.3g +/-
Calcium 22600 20045
0.3g/ kWh (0.97g +/- 0.22g/ bhp.hour), for the time
Barium 0 0
being, whilst investigations continue.
Magnesium 57 69
Titanium 0 0 Nevertheless many operators have been reluctant
Molybdenum 0 0 to adjust the lubricant feed rate to a lower level after
Vanadium 0 125 many years being advised by both the engine
manufacturers and the lubricant suppliers that it is
The changes which take place in the lubricating oil not possible to over-lubricate, and “the more
during its passage down the cylinder liner to the lubricant the better”.
drain pipe enable interpretations to be made about
the conditions of combustion, maintenance and The typical Cylinder Oil feed rate range, between
lubrication of the individual unit. 1.0g/kWh to 1.6g/kWh (0.7g to 1.2g/bhp.hour) is
very wide and most operators still err towards
higher rates despite the growing acceptance that
2. Cylinder Lubricant Feed Rate over-lubrication is a possible cause of piston
deposits, ring seizure and wear.
The authors have carried out sampling and analysis
of Cylinder lubricant drains on a number of ships to
check whether the rate of lubrication of each

© CIMAC — 1039 — Congress 2001, Hamburg

Evidence of over-lubrication can manifest itself The Calcium values in Fig 1 are higher than the
visually in an engine by: 23,700 ppm found in the new oil, which indicates
that the drain oil is carrying a lot of lubricant ash
• Crescent shape white deposits on the piston from lubricating oil that has been burned.
• Deposits of calcium on the piston top land
Reduction of the feed rate to a MAN.B&W
• Calcium deposits in the ring grooves and ring (6)
10L80MC engine was monitored – Fig 2 – under
seizure the guidance of the authors, and in agreement with
engine manufacturer’s recommendations, in steps
The condition of over-lubrication can be seen in the of 0.067g/kWh (0.05g/bhp.hour). Three sets of
condition of the drain oil by observing the TBN and drain oil samples were taken over a period of 2,000
Iron values. and, most significantly, when the hours before any reduction was made and then
Calcium value in the drain oil is higher than that in again, after each reduction, a further set of
the new oil. analyses is taken, before reducing by another step
of 0.067gramme.
28000 Calcium
The aim has been to reduce feed rates towards the
lower level recommended by the Engine
25000 Manufacturers, as the results of the cylinder

24000 lubricant drain analyses confirm the possibility to do

23000 so.
21000 The relevant analysis values were monitored during
the reduction process to ensure that all lubricant

New Oil

drain values were maintained within safe levels.

See - Figs 3 & 4.

Fig 1 - Calcium values from a MAN.B&W 10L80MC

MAN.B&W 10L80MC - Cylinder Oil Feed







8-Jun- 27-Jul- 16-Sep- 5-Nov- 23-Dec- 15-Feb- 14-Mar- 5th Apr 8-Jun- 1-Nov- 11-Dec-
99 99 99 99 99 00 00 00 00 00 00
gm/bhp hr 1.34 1.23 1.19 1.13 1.15 1.16 1.13 1.08 1.03 0.960 0.940

Fig 2 – Progressive reduction of Cylinder Lubricant feed rates

© CIMAC — 1040 — Congress 2001, Hamburg


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 new
23-May-00 43.2 40.5 45.6 43.2 47.7 38.5 44.5 42.5 46.5 41.1 0
13-Jul-00 35.3 35.5 39.7 40.5 37.8 34.7 27 51.8 39.3 32.2 0
6-Sep-00 38.5 40.3 43.5 37.1 44.1 35 40.7 40 41.3 37.2 0
20-Oct-00 47.1 49.4 51.6 49 45.5 45.7 48.7 42.9 48.4 42.9 69.2

Fig 3 - TBN values during progressive reduction in Cylinder Lubricant Feed




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 new
23-May-00 46 64 31 34 44 41 25 29 45 60 0
13-Jul-00 73 87 46 61 61 63 59 46 111 78 0
6-Sep-00 37 67 34 43 71 47 70 39 69 60 0
20-Oct-00 39 31 24 25 30 34 37 30 33 30 4

Fig 4 – Iron values during progressive reduction in Cylinder Lubricant Feed Rate

3. Cylinder Liner Wear Conditions

Liner wear can result both from abrasive and
corrosive wear. 300

Analysis of the Iron and Alkalinity values in the 200

cylinder lubricant drain oil taken by the authors
has provided a check on the amount of wear 100
taking place between the piston rings and the
cylinder liner, and has been able to confirm the 0
adequacy of the alkaline reserve to counter 1 2 3 4 5 6 New
corrosive wear. A case in point was demonstrated 25-Jul-00 89 66 78 87 88 75 0
by analyses of drain oil from a MAN.B&W 1-Aug-00 83 69 101 83 53 84 0
6S80MC engine. 6-Oct-00 173 140 162 63 126 130 0
30-Oct-00 120 121 147 93 378 156 6
Tabulation of the Iron values in the drain oil, see
Fig 5, from all engine cylinders permitted
comparison of performance conditions between Fig 5 – Iron values demonstrating sudden liner
cylinder units. wear in No.5 Cylinder Unit

© CIMAC — 1041 — Congress 2001, Hamburg

Plotting of Iron values for each engine cylinder whereby poor combustion condition in Unit 1,
from consecutive drain samples enabled the indicated by high Vanadium, low Dispersancy and
trends in liner wear to be evaluated. At overhaul high Insolubles, contrasts with good combustion in
intervals the wear trends noted by drain analysis Unit 4 having low vanadium, high Dispersancy
were confirmed by physical measurements. and low Insolubles.

At the same time the alkalinity values of the drain By carrying out a comparison over several sets of
oil were able to confirm sufficient reserve to samples taken at 1000 hour intervals, the trends,
minimise the risk of corrosive wear taking place. in terms of an improvement or deterioration in
The alkaline reserve can be affected by the combustion conditions could be interpreted. When
amount of sulphur in the fuel, water in the noting a deteriorating trend the operator can be
scavenge air supply, liner wall temperature and alerted to the need for maintenance, be it the
the power being developed . changing of an injector or the lifting of a piston
with seized rings.
4. Combustion Conditions
5. Checking performance of the piston rod
Conditions of poor atomisation and incomplete
combustion are evident in the analysis results of
Analysis of Cylinder Lubricant drains from a
cylinder lubricant drains.
MAN.B&W 10L80MC engine demonstrated
incidence of an impending problem with piston rod
By comparing the drain analysis results from each
of Unit 1 and a serious problem with Unit 7 as
cylinder unit from a MAN.B&W 6S80MC the
shown in Fig 7. Leakage of system oil from the
individual combustion performance of each
crankcase upwards through the piston rod stuffing
cylinder unit could be interpreted.
box was quickly noted and corrected.
Fig 6 show analyses from an engine with poor
combustion performance on one unit. There is
good correlation between the analysis values

250 0.6


Sooty Insolubles
Vanadium &



0 0
1 2 3 4 5 6 New Oil
Vanadium 225 121 147 60 108 42 0
Dispersancy 65 68 73 89 59 72 98
Sooty Insol. 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.1

Fig 6 – Analysis values indicate poor combustion in Unit 1and good combustion in Units 4 and 6.

© CIMAC — 1042 — Congress 2001, Hamburg


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 new
23-May-00 26 23 15 20 24 10 18 17 16 15 0
13-Jul-00 66 23 23 17 24 11 125 6 11 8 0
6-Sep-00 30 29 12 10 23 17 24 15 29 12 0
20-Oct-00 27 19 17 12 15 19 15 25 25 20 12

Fig 7 – Sudden leakage of system oil at Units 1 & 7, detected and corrected

If a piston rod gland is not maintaining a good seal because of the concurrent need for more make up
then cylinder lubricant drains contaminate the of system oil as it leaks up into the under-piston
crankcase oil. Evidence of system oil space.
contamination is readily picked up when system
oils are monitored by the lubricant supplier, but Leakage of system oil into the under-piston space
the supplier’s analysis does not define which unit is readily seen when analysing cylinder lubricant
is leaking. Contamination by cylinder lubricant drain oil. The comparative performance of the
drain oil causes an increase in TBN in the system piston rods of each unit can be noted from each
oil, lowering its resistance to water contamination unit sample, and the trend of leakage noted over a
and causing a build up of deposits on the range of several samplings
underside of the piston crown. The increase in .
TBN of the system oil can however be masked

80 1.6
70 1.4
60 1.2
Viscosity & TBN

Water % wt

50 1
40 0.8
30 0.6
20 0.4
10 0.2
0 0
1 2 3 4 5 New Oil
Viscosity 33.52 24.4 31.43 30.01 43.1 20.11
TBN 10.1 14.3 8.2 12.2 6.3 67.7
Water 1.3 1.25 1.4 1.35 1.2 0.05

Fig – Effect of High water contamination in the Cylinder Lubricant

© CIMAC — 1043 — Congress 2001, Hamburg

6. Water contamination 2. Performance Comparison of different
Cylinder Lubrication Systems
The presence of an excess of water in the diesel
cylinder can have a detrimental effect on the ring The authors’ company is currently providing the
and liner wear conditions as was demonstrated Drain Analysis service assist in comparing the
in the analyses from a Sulzer 5RTA72 engine – performance of a new design of diesel cylinder
Fig 8. lubrication equipment installed on two units of a
MAN.B&W 12K90MC engine, whilst the balance
Water is reported to cause an increase in the ten continue to be lubricated with conventional
formation of acid and an increase in liner wear. equipment.
The authors have observed that water
contamination is accompanied by an increase in 3. Planning the life of the liner
viscosity, probably due to emulsification of the
cylinder oil, and also by a marked drop in the The authors are discussing with some engine
alkalinity and increase in Iron values. Although the operators the use of Cylinder Lubricant drain
mechanism is not clear to the authors by which analysis to reduce the lubricant feed rate to give
the lubricant, and the lubrication process, breaks acceptable, rather than minimum liner wear rates.
down, it is understood that the water may cause
an increase in the formation of a dilute and highly Evidence collected by the authors and others
corrosive acid, and a breakdown in the alkaline indicates that the cost of lubrication to achieve low
component of the cylinder lubricant, reducing its wear rates in the region of 0.04mm/ 1000 hours
effectiveness in neutralising acid formation. can sometimes be uneconomic. Adjusting
lubrication feed rate to achieve wear rates in the
Study of the parameters allowed recommendation region of 0.05mm to 0.06mm/ 1,000 hours, or
of prompt remedial action to the operator before other acceptable wear figure, can be cheaper in
the problem of water contamination developed. An terms of cost of liner replacement compared to the
alert to the possible source of the water can be cost of the lubricant to maintain a wear rate in the
indicated, as, in this case, a blocked water region of 0.04mm/ 1000 hours.
separator drain, or be it exceptional ambient
humidity, and correction before excessive wear As shown in Table II, the cost of cylinder
took place. lubrication at the upper end of the range
recommended by the Engine Manufacturers, of
1.6g/kWh (1.2g/bhp.hour), can result in
expenditure over 10 years of US$1,800,000 for a
Other Applications of Cylinder 700mm bore engine.
Lubricant Drain Analysis
This may be compared with the cost of lubrication
The authors have investigated the use of Cylinder at the lower end of 1.0g/kWh (0.75g/bhp.hour) of
Lubricant drain analysis for other evaluations: US$1,130,000 per year for the same engine, a
difference of US$670,000 over a ten year period.
1. Performance Comparison of different
Lubricant Brands Given that a typical purchase and installation cost
for a 700mm liner would be approximately
Drain Analysis has been applied to compare the US$27,000, it prompts the question whether a
performance of different brands of cylinder balance should be made, between the cost of
lubricant in one Sulzer 7RTA84 engine where lubrication and that of liner replacement, to
Owners wished to check the performance of one optimise operating costs.
cylinder lubricant with another before making a
commercial decision to change to a new supplier. Changes in engine loading and changing fuel
Four cylinders were lubricated with the current quality, as well as operating and maintenance
lubricant and another brand was used in the other factors, can affect liner wear. To be able to plan
three cylinders. The analyses were able to confirm liner life span the authors recommend close
that the performance of both lubricants were monitoring of engine performance, lubricant
similar, indicating that there would be no technical condition and fuel data
reason why the new lubricant should not be used.

© CIMAC — 1044 — Congress 2001, Hamburg

Table II – Comparison of Cylinder Lubricant costs at different feed rates
Example: 6-cylinder 700mm bore engine Upper limit Mid range Lower limit
develops 20,000 bhp: 1.6g/kWh 1.35g/kWh 1.0g/kWh
Cylinder Oil Feed Rate (gms/bhp hr) 1.2 1 0.75
Consumption per day (Litres) 630 520 390
Consumption per Year/ 7,000 hours in Litres 180,000 150,000 113,000
CLO cost for 10 years (US Dollars) @ US$1.00/ litre $1,800,000 $1,500,000 $1,130,000
Cost Difference over 10 years/ 70,000 hours $300,000 $670,000

CONCLUSIONS regular monthly engine performance data,

photographic records of piston and liner condition,
Cylinder lubricant drain analysis has opened a together with the data derived from cylinder
new source of information to help determine lubricant drain analysis has enabled a more
engine performance conditions, providing the detailed and specific interpretation of engine
superintendent with additional information to performance condition to be provided to engine
make engine maintenance decisions. Important to operators. The objective is to provide the fleet
note is that Cylinder Lubricant drain analysis can manager and superintendent with data in a readily
detect a problem, such as ring and liner wear, understood form to enable him to take prompt and
water contamination of the cylinder lubricant, and appropriate action to maintain economic
piston rod gland leakage, before it would be operation, engine reliability and optimum
picked up by conventional methods of inspection. performance.
Furthermore, by combining cylinder lubricant drain
analysis with the physical inspection of piston The authors have already collected a
condition through the scavenge ports, more considerable amount of engine performance data
precise maintenance decisions can be made. from some containerships and tankers using
cylinder lubricant drain analysis and look forward
The need for regular piston inspection is to reporting their findings from these ships and
recognised by most operators. However, the others in due course.
lower educational standard of some ships’ staff
may mean that piston inspection cannot always
be relied upon to provide as much valid REFERENCES
information about piston and liner conditions as
would be the case with inspection by an
experienced superintendent or specialist
“The Role of Temperature and Pressure in
Wear Process in Low Speed Diesel Engines”
– ISME, Tokyo October 2000
Despite the fact that cylinder lubricant analysis
does not require the authors, as providers of the 2. K. AABO, ‘’Fuel for Diesels – Performance on
analysis service, to go on board customer ships it Future Fuels’’, CIMAC Day 30Sept 98
has, nevertheless, been their practice to make
engine inspections. They encourage ships’ staff to
participate in the piston inspections with a view to
training engine room staff in the observation and Switzerland Ltd Report “Piston Running
photographic recording of piston and liner Behaviour of Sulzer Large Bore Diesel
Engines” – March 2000
conditions. Visual inspection does, nevertheless,
have its limitations as the authors’ experience has 4. U. MIKKELSEN, and M.C. JENSEN, ‘’The MC
indicated that drain analysis can pick up a wear Engines Design & Service Experience’’,
problem which has not been noted during visual Motorship Conference March 1998 - Pages
inspection of pistons, in other words, before the 3, 4.
wear became a serious problem.
As a further step towards a more comprehensive Managers of trial on mt Sea Lord 1994-1996
engine performance monitoring service the 6. FLAME MARINE LIMITED reports to Owners
authors have been collecting engine performance of ms Ming East, current date.
data from selected ships. The combination of

© CIMAC — 1045 — Congress 2001, Hamburg